KnittingJenny


Home



Traditional Bohus yoked sweater
Finally completed in March 2009 after a year of happy knitting


I've always been drawn to the color combo of green and orange; or, more specifically, olive and salmon.

My mom crocheted this afghan in 1958, the year before my parents married. I just love the afghan, and the colors are great. To me, the olive and salmon combo is sooo 1958. What's there not to like?

Here's Mom at about the time she was crocheting that afghan. This photo was taken in November 1956, when Mom was a senior in high school, in Michigan. She graduated with the class of '57.

While living in London last year, I discovered that the talented Solveig Gustafsson was selling knitting kits that replicated traditional sweaters from the Swedish Bohus design movement, 1939-1969.

Solveig hand-dyes the merino-angora blend yarn to match historic samples. I was automatically drawn to the Wild Apple pattern, for its muted green and orange hues. The Wild Apple is an original 1958 design by Kerstin Olsson, with updated instructions by Solvieg Gustafsson.

Since I had dropped 90 British pounds (US$180 at the time!) on the knitting kit, I was determined to follow the pattern obediently. After all, this was an investment.

So, I started the neck-down sweater, per the pattern, except for my picot collar, but quickly discovered that the colors were way too muted for my taste.

Now I realize that the whole point of Bohus colorwork is the subtle coloring. But there's subtle......and then there's so-subtle-you-can't-really-decipher-the-colorwork subtle. So I frogged the collar and began anew.

I ordered an extra skein of vibrant orange #75 and green #177, and extended the colorwork part of the yoke upward. To me, I wanted a little more splash of color.

(By the way, if you happen to order extra skeins from Solveig, learn from my mistake: Order the extra skeins at the same time you purchase the kit; that way, you won't have any issues with dye lots, as I did.)

Here's the finished sweater, which has been one full year in the making. Both yoke and body were knit on 2.5mm Addi turbo circulars. When knitting the yoke, I made extra sure I wasn't knitting tightly, as is my tendency.

Without a doubt, the yoke was the best part of the whole process. I just love the colorwork.

The body, on the other hand, has been a chore. It has taken me ages to knit round and round the body. I am glad, though, that I did not, after all, follow the instructions precisely and knit the sleeves and body F-L-A-T. I just can't imagine doing that much purling.

Knitting in the round on 2.5mm circs is definitely mindless knitting that is only good when you're distracted and can't concentrate but still want to knit. I took this project to ktogs, so I could chat with my knitting friends. I took this project to the doctor's office, too, and I knitted while talking on the phone. I always like to keep my hands busy.

What I learned from this project is that there is definitely a time and place for mindless knitting. In fact, I'm tempted to order another Bohus kit. After all, knitting the yoke was a colorwork blast. And then, for the next eight months, I had a totally justifiable mindless knitting project.

How unusual is it to have a mindless knitting project that gets such nice comments, thanks to the yoke?

I'm really pleased with the colorwork and the sizing. I blocked this sweater, though not aggressively. Instead, I spray-misted the entire sweater with water, then arranged it on a flat bedsheet on the carpet. I pinned out the waist and hips and sleeves, to ensure that the finished measurements would suit me. I let the sweater sit pinned for three full days.

Click here for next item


Click here for next item